America's Great Outdoors
America's Great Outdoors Initiative aims to reconnect Americans with their own country. With nearly eighty percent of Americans now living in urban areas, getting into the outdoors is much more difficult than in the past. Children spend half the amount of time outdoors that their parents did, and average seven hours daily using electronic devices. Nature is increasingly becoming something the typical person sees only on their calendars.
This is a bigger job than the National Park Service can do alone - after all, most Americans aren't fortunate enough to live near one of their National Parks. That's why it's not just the National Park Service, or even just the Departments of Interior and Agriculture participating. The Departments of Defense, Commerce, Housing and Urban Developement, Health and Human Services, Labor, Transportation, and Education are all helping Americans get outside into their own country.
What are we doing here at Voyageurs National Park? We are one of 36 National Parks participating in the Let's Move Outside Campaign. We also provide Ranger Naturalist Programs in the summer and winter seasons, Education Programs to schools nearby and Education Materials to schools further afield, and, of course, provide access to 218,000 acres of Minnesota's North Woods for recreational activities such as fishing, boating, camping, snowmobiling, and exploration.
Currently, we are constructing an Ojibwe Ethno-botanical Garden outside the Rainy Lake Visitor Center with advice and expertise from the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa, as well as help from Ojibwe Studies high school students, local Boy Scouts, other local volunteers, and volunteers organized by the Voyageurs National Park Association.
Stay tuned for more information about how we are participating in America's Great Outdoors.
Did You Know?
You can make a voyageur trinket, stamp a track or try on voyageurs clothing at a children's corner in a park visitor center.